Truly one of the best experiences I have had in my lifetime was the elk hunting trip I took last season with my two friends. Before actually taking time off work, we planned the trip for months, down to the smallest detail, to ensure that we would have the best time possible. Our biggest question in the beginning was where to go. With all the great locations around the country and many states offering excellent hunting grounds and services, it was a little tough deciding.
After many debates, we finally decided on the state of New Mexico. Once the major decision of location was out of the way we then turned our attention to buying the appropriate hunting gear, selecting the hunting equipment we would be using and educating ourselves since this was our first hunt. Since coming back from our adventure, I have been shared with friends many times about planning elk hunting trips and hope that you also find these tips helpful in planning your own trips.
The first aspect worth mentioning in planning a trip is that its a good idea to start with location. New Mexico is an excellent choice and has actually boosted its economy through big game hunts and is now in the lead over other states. Because of its strict conservation methods and excellent hunting grounds, the elk population is plentiful making a successful hunt very likely.
You will especially enjoy your time in New Mexico if you want to be in close contact with the elk while enjoying a variety of gorgeous scenery and terrain. I recommend that you research the best hunting states and what they have to offer and determine what is right for you.
No matter what state you choose, there are a wide variety of companies known as outfitters, that offer their services as guides in elk hunting. I would personally recommend using a guide through one of the many outfitters if you are not a seasoned hunter. The guides in these agencies know the terrain well and are able to assess your skill level, allowing for a challenging hunt without it being too difficult.
Each outfitter is different but some offer great amenities including, showers, meals, licenses and hunting equipment and usually work hard to provide great service so you will want to use them again in the future.
Another important thing you want to make sure and do before your trip is to educate yourself about the animal itself. Elk hunting is known to be a test of skill whether it is with a bow, muzzle loader or rifle. Elk are among the most cunning of animals and have a very acute sense of danger. It is very possible for you to be right in front of a large bull weighing 700-800 lbs, only to be fooled by its hasty escape. This challenge is probably what you will find most exciting about the hunt whether you end up bagging a large bull or not. You should also read up on bugling.
Bugling instruments are made to mimic the sounds of bulls or cows and draw them into range. You definitely want to choose a quality piece to add to your hunting equipment since it can determine the outcome of your hunt by bringing the animals to you or scaring them off.
By adequately preparing for your trip, educating yourself and having the right hunting gear you will definitely be on the right track for a successful hunt. Studying the behavior of elk and knowing how to bring them into range before hand might possibly even bag you that great catch all of us are looking for when elk hunting!